I’ve said before that Longwood Gardens is the Disney of Gardens. No matter what time of year you arrive, it’s over the top with fantastic flowers, events and food. Christmas is no different! They have “thousands of poinsettias accented with amaryllis, artemesia, begonias, cyclamen, hybrid lilies, kalanchoes, paperwhites, red berried plants and many other flowers flourish (ing) inside acres of heated glass conservatories. Living wreaths, swags and live floral trees adorn rooms throughout the Conservatory.” This year it all starts with the amazing floral carpet!
The 85 foot long Floral Carpet has more than 1000 potted plants featuring ivy, begonias, and poinsettias, just to name a few. Near the end of the carpet is a wonderful huge Christmas tree decked in reds and golds.
The entire Christmas extravaganza is entered by timed tickets. The tour winds everyone along a one way path to help prevent congestion. This is one of their busiest times of the entire year.
The stroll takes you all over the huge conservatory and it’s winges where various Christmas trees await!
Along the way everything is donned with Christmas florals and lights to boot. This Poinsettia wreath is strikingly red in person!
The entire conservatory is done up for Christmas except for the rare rooms that really don’t need it. The orchids here are festive enough!
The palm trees, however, got a little help with this great light show of green lasers cast upon them.
There are also fun wreaths throughout the tour including this Palm House Wreath which uses both the fruit and leaves of the Palm trees.
There is also a wonderful holiday succulant panel featuring, “hundreds of living plants including echeveria, kalanchoe, aeonium and euphorbia.”
There is one area that is filled with wildlife trees that are decorated by children in fantastic ways.
The Main Conservatory holds thousands of poinsettias accented where amaryllis, narcissus, begonias, cyclamen and tulips flourish.
The East Conservatory has a 28-foot Douglas Fir with 800 electronically fluttering, cobalt blue butterflies accompanied by blue, silver and white holiday ornaments.
Of course, the ornaments are available in the gift shop which “coincidentally” is decked to the gills with holiday cheer.
Longwood touts that their outdoor trees feature, “natural edible ornaments (to) adorn Wildlife Trees created especially for Longwood’s feathered and furry friends. The Gardener’s Tree features ornaments crafted from garden findings, including gourds, seedpods, and cones, while topiary reindeer frolic in the geometric beauty of the nearby Topiary Garden.”
While I was out and about I especially enjoyed the trains which flank the lower Conservatory entrance.
Once you head outside you’re greated with, “500,000 outdoor lights and holiday magic await you during Longwood’s incomparable Christmas display. Dazzling trees, seasonal concerts and ice skating shows return”
If the amazing Christmas decorations are not enough, Longwood is having “National, World and Olympic skaters perform fun 20-minute vignettes daily (weather permitting).” The skaters are performing on the outdoor ice skating rink and according to Longwood, “will meet and greet the audience and pose for pictures following each performance!” Skaters include: Megan Williams, Geoff Varner, Emmanuel Savary, Kim Navarr, Brent Bommentre, Michael Solonoski, Lauren Farr, Kevin Curtis, Blake Rosenthal, Erika Choi Smith, Nate Bartholomay, Felicia Zhang and Taylor Toth with Andrew Nagode. You can find out which skaters will be performing on what day at http://www.LongwoodGardens.org/IceSkatingPerformances2009.html
If you’re within a driving distance, you shouldn’t miss this wonderful experience!
For more information go straight to the source! www.longwoodgardens.org
I have many more photos of Longwood’s Christmas extravaganza but they will have to wait. As for tomorrow we’re heading over to another amazing garden destination: Disney World! There are many great gardens and flowers here. Were checking out The Land at Epcot to see the amazing vegetable garden there. Then we’re strolling around the parks to take in how Disney does the holidays. This might take a few days!
Britt : )